Teaching and Learning

Extension Programs for Gifted and Talented Students

Barker College believes that all students deserve to enjoy an enriched curriculum experience. Therefore, academic enrichment programs are available to all students regardless of academic ability. Programs are designed to enrich and enliven the curriculum and to support academic development. Barker students are fortunate to have access to a broad range of enrichment programs, many which are delivered through the normal process of teaching and learning. These programs are built into departmental programs of study and are accessed through classroom teaching and learning. 

Our students are enriched by their participation in a wide range of academic programs including: Academic excursions, subject specific immersion events (Vietnam Day, Maths Week, and Languages Day), the Hearts and Minds Philosophy and Rhetoric program and a range of visiting speakers.

Other academic enrichment programs are available to all but may only be accessed some students. Examples of these programs include: subject specific academic support, Focus On, Public Speaking and Debating, Robotics and lunchtime clubs and associations.

Academic Extension

The aims of the academic extension program at Barker are:
• To acknowledge that students of high intellectual ability have different learning needs
• To identify and support students with high intellectual ability
• To extend the learning of students with high intellectual ability and provide challenging learning environments

The program of academic extension is based on the work of Francois Gagne and his Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent. Gagne’s model recognises the features giftedness (Natural Abilities) and the dynamic process of translating these gifts into systematically developed skills (talents).

Identification of intellectually able students

At entry points, and as students progress through the School, a number of measures will be used to identify intellectually able students. These will likely include, low-stakes ability testing, subject specific testing and above level testing. The College also values teacher recommendation as a measure of suitability for participation in extension classes.

Extension Classes

In Years 7-10, most mandatory subjects are organised in ability groups, with students identified as being of high intellectual ability placed in extension classes. Extension classes will follow similar programs of study but are characterised by:

• Opportunities for open-ended inquiry and problem solving
• Increased academic challenge
• Greater academic complexity and abstraction

Other extension opportunities

The College provides other opportunities for academic extension through participation in pre-university courses, external competitions and gifted and talented programs and immersion programs.